Isely Associates prides itself for staying on top of trends in M&A transactions internationally. We continually monitor research being undertaken by others as well as investing in our own research in support of providing current information and the best solutions for our clients.

We’ve compiled a list of research that has been undertaken by others on topics relevant to mergers and acquisitions. Here are some highlights that you are welcome to export as a PDF for reference.

Periodically we reach out to our network to research topics of interest and share what we find. We encourage you to participate and also to suggest topics of interest for future research.

Please provide your contact details if you want to receive the results from our current research project when it is ready.  We also will invite you to participate in future projects and periodic spot surveys as opportunities present.

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M&A Trends

Global Capital Confidence Barometer by Ernst & Young ( 13th Edition, October 2015

“M&A is back as an essential mechanism for generating long-term value. With global macroeconomic growth tempered and their industries perpetually challenged, executives are searching for more than organic growth…and embracing sustainable M&A.”

2016 M&A Outlook Survey Report by KPMG in partnership with FORTUNE Knowledge Group

“Our survey paints a bullish outlook for M&A. In the absence of sharply destabilising factors, the economic fundamentals suggest that M&A activity may strengthen even further in 2016.” This research is US focused, set in the global context.

The Deloitte M&A Index 2016: Opportunities Amidst Divergence, Q4 2015

“As this record-breaking [2015] draws to a close, concerns over global growth are back, along with divergence in economic and monetary policies. Looking ahead, we expect such divergence to create M&A opportunities and define deal making in 2016.”

M&A Strategy

From Buying Growth to Building Value – Increasing Returns with M&A, Boston Consulting Group, October 2015

“While inexperienced acquirers typically destroy value…, frequent acquirers outperform their non-acquisitive counterparts. This holds true across 5, 10 and 25 year horizons. In order to realise the most value…M&A and PMI should be approached in a systematic and rigorous manner, just like any other management process.”

Global Cross-Border M&A Integration Survey by Global PMI University – the academic and research arm of Global PMI Partners – in collaboration with Dr Mohammad Faisal Ahammad of Sheffield Hallam University (UK), 2015.

“Global research exploring the factors affecting Cross-Border M&A integration program success. Analysis revealed that ‘hard’ factors like sector-specific regulations, corporate law, financial control, and competition authorities have the highest impact on cross-border integration.”

The 2013 Fit for Growth Index Study by Strategy& (originally published by Booz & Company in 2013)

Companies that focus on strategic clarity and coherence, resource alignment, and supportive organisation generate higher shareholder returns. Although these may seem clear with positive impact obvious, less than one-fifth of participating companies seem well prepared to grow.

The Capabilities Premium in M&A by Gerald Adloph, Cesare Mainardi, and J Neely Published Booz&Co, 2012

A study of inorganic growth shows that deals made to enhance or leverage the things that companies do well consistently outperform others.


Performance Effects of Top Management Team Gender Diversity during the Merger and Acquisition Process by Heather R. Parola, Kimberly M. Ellis, Peggy Golden, Management Decision, Vol. 53 Iss. 1, pp. 57 – 74, 2015

This research uncovers the performance effects of top management team (TMT) gender diversity in the merger and acquisition (M&A) process. Findings reveal that TMT gender diversity is beneficial to pre-integration performance, but hinders post-integration performance; also that acquirer experience can overcome the negative effects of gender diversity in post-integration performance.

Delivering on the Promise of Mergers & Acquisitions Growth Strategy by Dr. J. Keith Dunbar, Founder Potentious, 2014

“Groundbreaking Work Quantifies Key Leadership Capabilities and Relates them to M&A Success.”

2014 Global M&A Retention Survey – How Companies Use Agreements to Keep Top Talent by Towers Watson

Understand what employers do to retain key staff during transactions based on a global study of 248 organisations in 14 countries.


Breaking the Culture Barrier in Postmerger Integrations by Chris Barrett, Daniel Friedman, Jim Hemerling and Julie Kilmann of Boston Consulting Group, January 2016

“Cultural differences are a given in a merger, and ignoring them can jeopardise not only the integration but the performance of the unified organisation. Yet many companies don’t know how to address culture in a systematic way.” One interesting finding of this research is that cultural divides become more significant higher in organisation ranks. Not addressing such differences amongst senior leaders can put a merger integration process in jeopardy and also jeopardise the performance of the organisation ongoing.


Managing Employee Engagement During Times of Change by Daniel P. Rubin, Ken Oehler, PhD and Christopher Adair, Aon Hewitt, 2013

“Transformational changes such as M&A, strategy transformation and restructuring affect engagement; many organisations struggle with effective strategies and actions to improve engagement during change. This research identifies the top drivers of engagement for employees who experienced change versus employees who did not, identifying the differences in impact of key drivers depending on the presence of change.”

People Issues

People Risks in M&A Transactions – 2016 Mercer Research Report by Jeff Cox and Chuck Morritt, April 2016

“Global research offers insights into the emerging trends in the deal activity of corporate and private equity buyers and sellers, provides an in-depth view of people-related transaction risks, and offers strategies and practical solutions to help organisations plan for and address these risks effectively to drive deal value.”

M&A HR Readiness: the Key to Executing Effectively, Towers Watson, 2011

“The success of any merger or acquisition, large or small, depends as much on effectively managing people and the organisational environment as it does on managing the timing and financials. More M&A Deals fail because of unresolved cultural issues than because of transaction fundamentals.”

How the best acquirers excel at integration by Rebecca Doherty, Oliver Engert, and Andy West at McKinsey & Company, January 2016

“Those that do integration well, deliver as much as 6 to 12 percentage points higher total returns to shareholders (TRS) than those that don’t. The skills and capabilities that companies need to improve most when they integrate are persistent and, for many, familiar. Grounding integration in the objectives of the deal, bringing together disparate cultures, setting the right performance goals, and attracting the best talent are frequently among the top challenges that bedevil even experienced active acquirers. They’re also the ones that, according to our experience and survey research, differentiate strong performers from weaker ones.”